Is Total Veganism Achievable?
In a word: NO.
But the journey is still very much worthwhile because the greater our strides, the bigger the difference we make to ourselves, the larger society, and the environment.
The reason I assert that total veganism is not achievable (at least not in the immediate future) is because animal-derived products and ingredients are in so many things that we use in our daily lives.
Some of these animal-derived products can be easily identified and exchanged for cruelty-free alternatives.
But the extent of animal exploitation in our modern society is so pervasive, and often so invisible, that it is impossible for me to imagine someone navigating their way to being able to live as a productive and engaged member of society without directly or indirectly using products that are 100% cruelty-free.
Personal and Household Products
It is not too difficult to find cruelty-free personal care products, household cleaners, cosmetics, clothing, and many other items we typically use on a regular basis.
However, it's not always feasible to choose them. For one thing, products labeled "cruelty-free" or "green" often command a higher price, and not everyone is in a position to afford these purchases.
As another example, some people require serious heavy-duty boots or work gloves to perform their jobs safely. Although the variety and quality of leather alternatives is increasing, vegan boots simply do not "stand up" to the abuse that leather boots do.
There are many, many vegan, earth-friendly products for personal care and household cleaning.
Make Your Own Cruelty-Free Household Products
- Make Your Own Vegan Cleaning, Makeup, and other Household Products
Links to numerous vegan, eco-friendly household cleaner recipes! Making your own cleaning and personal care supplies takes time but is much less expensive than store-bought products.
Hidden Animal Products
Looking beyond the more visible culprits, animal products may be used in (or used to process) a shocking number of things that aren't normally associated with animal-derived ingredients.
This list includes plastic bags, bike and car tires, many medicines, biofuels, beer, wine, sugar, paint, plastic, rubber, cardboard, paper, glue used to bind books, wax paper, plywood, drywall, freon, ceramic tile, asphalt, concrete, brake fluid, and antifreeze.
This is why I suggest focusing on those areas where you can make a meaningful difference in your own life and not unreasonably worrying about the multitude of products that are well beyond your control.
While there are incomprehensibly gigantic hurdles to climb in order to create a vegan world, simply making changes in your own life, to the extent that you personally are able to do so, does send a message "out there."
More Information About Hidden Animal Ingredients in Everyday Products
- 9 Everyday Products You Didn't Know Had Animal Ingredients
Brief description of nine products in which you might not expect to find animal ingredients
- Animal Rendering Products In More Places Than You Think
More complete list of products containing animal ingredients
- Happy Cow Animal Ingredient List
Extensive list of animal ingredients common in foods and other products
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Stop in for information and inspiration! Pins for lots of recipes, vegan living information, and tips and tricks.
- Vegan Journey
Here are links to my numerous articles about vegan living. I've divided them into several categories: Getting Started, Family and Community, and Recipes. I've also included links to other websites.
Voting with the Consumer Dollar
If enough of us are sending the message that we support a cruelty-free standard, the free market will expand the vegan niche. Indeed, that is exactly what has been happening! Without consumer demand for such products, we would not be seeing the wide variety of "cruelty-free" and "green" choices that are often readily available in local stores.
Being vegan is about the journey, not the destination. The point is not that we are going to actually fix the entire system (at least not at this moment in time). Rather, the point is to do our part in moving society forward toward a more ethical, sustainable standard.
Being an example to others as we live our lives and putting forth some extra effort to improve consumer, environmental, and animal rights standards is an honorable path to walk and does make a difference to ourselves and our world!